The wait was nearly over. This nightmare would be coming to an end soon. I could feel it.
And I started to hope. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help it.
The clinic told my husband and I to keep our social calendar busy, to help keep us occupied and to take the focus off what we were going through and what we were waiting for. And that we did. We spent a lot of time with friends and family so we didn’t have time to think about anything else.
All of my beautiful friends rallied together to help keep me distracted also. One particular evening, one of my amazing girlfriends organised to pick me up and take me “shopping” to cheer me up. Our “shopping trip” was actually a surprise dinner at a local restaurant where some of my other closest girlfriends were waiting there for me. I was so surprised and touched, that of course I cried! Happy tears though.
How did I get so lucky to be surrounded by some of the most thoughtful and beautiful people in the world?
However I was still waiting.
It’s a very strange feeling. Waiting to get told by someone else if you’re pregnant.
I always imagined it would happen easily for me. I would miss a period, then would pee on a stick, find out we were pregnant, celebrate and that’s it. But it wasn’t meant to be that way for us, and that’s ok. I’ve come to terms with it all now.
Our IVF nurse had told us to try our best and not do any home pregnancy tests, as the high level of hormones that had been pumped into my body could give a false reading. She said that it would be best if we just waited for our blood tests. Who was she kidding! As if I would EVER be able to hold myself back!
I tried my best to refrain from buying any home pregnancy tests, but it was honestly like they would jump into my shopping trolley themselves. So, completely by accident (yeah right), some pregnancy tests and maybe a few blocks of chocolate were bought. Yep, chocolate and I were going home to rekindle our friendship and boy had we missed each other!
After the implantation of the egg, I was certain I felt different.
I couldn’t explain it, I just felt it.
I wasn’t sure if it was my head or my heart playing tricks on me, or if in a tentative hope I was talking myself into this ‘different’ feeling. Or maybe it was just having those pregnancy tests staring at me, the ones that jumped into my trolley just begging to be opened, that made me feel this way?
I lasted 4 days, yes only 4 days.
It had gotten the better of me, and I HAD to know if this feeling that I felt was ‘something’ or not. As you could probably guess, no line showed up on that test.
Well maybe if you closed one eye, tilted your head slightly to the right, and stood on one foot there was a really, really, really faint line there? Maybe?? Or maybe not…. My hubby laughed at me when he got home from work that day and found out what I had done. We both laughed that I’d turned into a completely crazy lady.
And yet I secretly told myself that I would try my luck again tomorrow. Because that feeling I’d had, had still not disappeared. So of course I had to try again.
After reading lots of stories on the IVF forums that I had previously joined, I came to the conclusion that you get a more accurate reading in the morning. That’s where I must have gone wrong yesterday! Right?! I took the test at night!
I continued to do a pregnancy test every day for the next 6 days.
I couldn’t believe it. Lines began showing up. But I couldn’t rely those little sticks. I had my nurse in the back of my mind, I knew it was a possibility that these were all false readings. I needed to wait for my blood tests.
I had taken the next few days off work so I could either celebrate the news I so desperately wanted to hear or deal with a blow that would break my heart. Either way I had to give myself some time to deal with the outcome.
The phone call that I was waiting for came just as I was getting home from doing the grocery shopping. I was sitting in my car parked out the front of my house. As Monash IVF flashed up on my phone screen, I took a big deep breath and answered…
My nurse began talking straight away. I can’t exactly remember how it all came out, the conversation seemed like one big blur to me. After I heard the word ‘congratulations’, I couldn’t hear anything through my tears.
I came inside straight away to call my husband. The poor guy thought something was seriously wrong, as I could barely speak through all my tears. Then I finally managed to stumble the word baby out. As he couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t stop crying, he immediately thought the worst, and started to console me.
We still needed to have repeat blood tests to ensure my HCG levels were rising, and then an ultrasound to check our little embryo was ok. But at this moment, we were pregnant. Finally the tables had turned.
My pregnancy had its ups and downs. From an early bleed that landed me in hospital to threatened pre term labour at one stage. I went through a lot of pain over those 39 weeks, which was connected to my previous endometriosis and the joys of pelvic instability. Although I was uncomfortable, I experienced every bit of it knowing that I would take anything for my baby to continue to flourish and grow in my body.
Every day since she has been born, we think about how lucky we are to have her. We went through so much to hold her in our arms and she is here. She is ours. She is the most beautiful, loving and happiest of babies, and we couldn’t have hoped for a more precious child.
Although she wasn’t created in the way we had always expected, she is perfect, and we will always make sure that she knows just how special a person she is to us and the rest of our family. We chose her. We fought for her. We love her. She is our miracle baby.
* This blog was originally published on the Ellyn Shepherd Blog. Head over to www.ellynshepherd.com.au to check out all her amazingness!!